May 2, 2013

More Guided Reading Anchor Charts

Guided reading without flexible grouping is more tracking than guided reading.  We recently re-benchmarked our below grade level students at the middle school and re-formed our guided reading groups so that students are placed in groups where they will be reading texts at their highest instructional level.  With new groups, I took the opportunity to create some new anchor charts.  I'm excited about using them with my groups!

 I have my students put post-it notes to document their thinking as they're reading so that we can use the discussion points that they want to talk about in our guided reading discussion.  Giving students ideas of what they could write on the post-its encourages them to bring that discussion up to a higher level.

 Getting students to take on discussion techniques and realize that the ways they phrase discussion points may illicit more response if they're able to express themselves appropriately.

 Encouraging students to listen to one another and be able to build upon the thinking of others in order to have a conversation about text is a goal that I have for my guided reading students.

I like to incorporate some sort of extension with guided reading groups when appropriate.  Two types of responses that I have found to be quick but also engage students in higher level thinking and support that thinking with textual evidence are the double-entry column and guided reading exit slips that I have students write on note cards and place on the guided reading bulletin board.

I hope this helped you generate ideas for guided reading or for new anchor charts!  I would love to hear from you to get some ideas of what you do with your students during guided reading that works!



  1. Hi, Kelsey! I am a reading teacher at a school where there is no literacy coach. I want to form more structured groups next year. How many students do you have in a group, usually? Also, are they all grouped based on benchmark ability level?



  2. Hi Jes,

    We do two different forms of small group instruction for reading. The first is guided reading, which is homogeneous grouping (based on students' Benchmark Assessment levels). We use the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment, and our book room is also leveled A-Z using F&P. These groups are flexible and change throughout the year based on benchmarks, so students aren't stuck in the same groups throughout the year. Guided reading is definitely more based on lessons prepared by the teacher. In the middle school, we also alternate guided reading with literature study where five-six groups of students within one class are reading five-six different books. These books are grade level appropriate and the grouping is heterogenous (all different ability levels). Students direct what is talked about by bringing discussion points to the group. It's more like a book club. Students who have a hard time reading a book at a reading level higher than their own listen on tape. I think doing both types of grouping at the middle school level is a great balance and helps students make progress in their reading as well as their ability to talk about their reading. I hope his helps a little! :)

  3. Hi Kasey,
    I read your response to Jes and have a question about guided reading. So, once you group the students based on their Benchmark Assessment levels, do you have them read the same book, or can they choose their own book from your book room as long as it's in their range/level?

    1. Hey Jenn,

      The teacher would choose a book from the book room for that group of students at their level and use guided reading to instruct that group. All members of the group would be reading the same book. Since a teacher can't meet with every group every day, all students also have an independent reading book that they are reading that is self-selected for days that they don't have guided reading. As far as the guided reading goes though, it's a group of students that the teacher picks a common book out for and uses that book to teach them reading skills to ultimately become better readers. I've don't quite a bit of blogging about guided reading at our middle school if you want to check out any of the other posts from the link.

  4. BTW, thanks for posting those awesome anchor charts!

    1. You're very welcome! I hope they are helpful to others! :)

  5. Hi Kasey - Thanks for all your great work on your blog. I've read a great deal of it and it's very helpful. My colleague and I just finished our first year of guided reading in middle years and are trying to refine ... as always. I was wondering what your students are responsible for with regard to guided reading outside of your time with the group. For example, do they have to read, do a response, etc. to prepare for the next guided reading session? If not, how do you fit in the reading and teaching time in your guided reading time? Also, do you use novels during your guided reading time or do you suggest shorter texts? We used novels last year as it provided more investment from the students (as well as less time spent for us finding texts at appropriate levels. - I am very jealous of your levelled book room for middle years!) Any feedback you have is welcome. Thanks for your expertise.

    1. Hi Natalie! Thank you so much for reading my blog and for your kind words. Guided reading at the middle school level can hold some tricky challenges, but it can also be very rewarding. I have my students read in preparation for our group's meeting, and sometimes there is a small assignment associated with it such as filling out a thinkmark or answering a specific question or bringing a discussion point, etc. It also depends on the group for what I assign for the amount of reading and assignment. Our book room has a variety of novels, short stories, and nonfiction texts. I try to use a variety of genres across the school year, so some of the books are novels and others are shorter. If you visit my TpT store, there is a free download called "Creating a Middle School Book Room" which lists all of the titles in our book room. I hope these answers help a little! :) Great questions!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...